Monday, April 30, 2012
Dear Ones, Nero's devised a touch of drama to begin this Monday with a bit of a bang-bang. An improvised date night led the pharaoh and yours truly to sample the latest celebrity chef and rockstar designer concubinage to hit Houston, sushi lounge Katsuya by S+arck, a razor sharp collaboration between chef Katsuya Uechi and the Marlon Brando of branding himself, monsignor Philippe Starck.
The culinary kabuki unfolds in an atmosphere of black, white and crimson, staged with copious amounts of stainless steel and the quasi-surgical sterility one would expect from an establishment that minces, handles and hawks raw fish. Divided into several areas, a clubby lounge and watering hole, a central seating space crowned by a sushi bar, and a chandeliered partition for private occasions, Nero was pleased to note that despite the intimidating Russian roulette of floating knives that greets guests upon arrival and the slanty-eyed sexploitation masquerading as murals, the clientele was not restricted to not-so-bright young things. Indeed, several parties came bearing small children, who quickly bellied up to the sushi bar, crowned at each corner with a golden gun or a caricatured creature -- signature Starck and a great way to distract the youth while the Kobe beef skewers sizzle.
We ate sparingly, more interested in taking in the pantomime -- a cup of miso soup each, a ceviche for Nero and a raw tuna platter for his excellency -- all truly fresh and flavorful though the portions were petite. Nero, who cannot leave that stone unturned, made an obligatory visit to the privy in the hopes of uncovering some stunning sink hardware or an interplanetary feat of hand soap styling. Alas, as evidenced below, the John felt like a pharmacopeia done up by Damian Hirst -- stainless steel and mirrored glass, icy to the touch, lacking even the intrigue or flourish of a baby shark floating in formaldehyde.
Fittingly, Nero had accidentally dressed the part of Madame Butterfly post-Pinkerton -- a bloody mess minus the heart-shaped bow of a Chanel-tinged geisha lip. Next curtain call, I will come armed and dangerous, toting the vintage Dior clutch pictured in the last image below. It feels thematically appropriate, created well over a decade ago, rendered in a kimono silk by John Galliano in his prime, when visions of Japanese painted ladies and cherry tree blossoms still danced in his head, before the champagne bubble burst and his dreams were dashed, before he became just another belligerent drunk hiding behind a brand.
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- Of Geisha Memoirs and a Starck Lark
- Of Wiley Ways and a Mug Maestro
- Let's Exhale, It's Friday
- Of Divine Dining in the Fine
- Of Canal Corralled and a Crash Pad Quest
- Notes on a French Cranny
- It's Monday, let's Chase Change
- Of Nails for Sale
- Of Weekend Warrior-ing
- Of Easy Brizo in Black
- On Parrots in the Powder Room
- Of Sally's Space and a Shelter Spread
- It's like Mad Men Meets Miami
- Of Coloring Cartier
- It's Saturday
- Of Splendor in the Grass
- Wednesday's World
- As the World Turns
- Of Jason Wooed and a Blossomed Burner
- On Examining Creation and its Origins
- Baaaack from the Big Easy
- Of Nero NOLA-fied
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